Written by Isabelle Rossi de Leon
It’s White Iris Records week on COOLIFORNIA, and DJs Rambam and Ofellow are engaging in a deep analysis of the “fuck-it mentality” of punk rock through the lens of FIDLAR’s track “No Waves.” This passionate discourse is exemplary of Ryan Mera Evans and Jared Fellows’ radio show, which profiles a different California record label each week on WYBCX. For these two freshmen Xboard members, COOLIFORNIA is not just about showcasing record labels from Fellows’ home state, but also involves researching the histories of each label’s artists, offering insightful musical analysis and criticism, debating each label’s creative goals, and engaging in humorous banter. Rambam and Ofellow’s amusing repartee gives the show an appropriately fun vibe for a series that focuses on California, which works well with the upbeat punk and hip-hop that they frequently tend to play. Jared is particularly fond of their “ridiculous antics” and laughs about calling his cohost a “Cooloradan” because of Ryan’s Denver, Colorado origins. COOLIFORNIA has particularly personal significant for Jared, a Los Angeles native and self-identified “Coolifornian.” For him, the show serves as a way to connect with his home state by showcasing fantastic artists from the same place.
Jared and Ryan originally decided to start a WYBCX show together because they are close friends and have similar musical tastes. Ryan first suggested that they create a radio show about California, but now the show focuses mainly on record labels based in the Los Angeles area. They chose to focus on record labels because this concept gives each individual show a sense of direction despite the wide range of music played across the entire series. Many record labels that they showcase have one main genre of interest, allowing Ryan and Jared to establish coherence within each episode.
More importantly, labels often play a major role in their corresponding music scenes. Jared cites Burger Records as a key player in reviving cassette tapes and reestablishing their role in the punk rock scene. Burger Records also hosts Burgerama, a music festival that helps maintain a solid punk rock presence in L.A. and Orange Country, something both DJs value and enjoy discussing on air. Though Jared and Ryan are especially fond of profiling punk rock and hip-hop labels, they hope to expand to reggae and jazz in the near future. Ryan is also interested in profiling record labels that were once prominent, but have now disappeared. All in all, COOLIFORNIA is an exceptional show based on a uniquely intellectual and enjoyable concept. Tune in on Saturdays from 5-6.